||PHILIPPINE RAPTORS CONSERVATION PROGRAM
||Continuing project (started in 1990)
||DENR-Protected Area Areas and Wildlife Bureau and DENR Regions 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, CARAGA and CAR
The Program aims to conserve the country’s birds of prey using the Philippine Eagle as the flagship species. Specifically, the Program has the following objectives:
- To conserve the Philippine Eagle and other endangered Philippine avifaunal species in the wild and in captivity;
- To develop the Center for Philippine Raptors at Los Baños initially, as venue for education and research, and ultimately, as breeding center for Philippine birds of prey; and,
- To provide an extensive public education on Philippine Eagle and other wildlife.
Expected Outputs :
- Population Distribution of the Philippine Eagle established in database;
- Philippine Eagle habitats proclaimed as protected area;
- Captive-bred raptors released in the wild;
- Community people participating to wildlife conservation activities in their respective areas.
Status of Implementation
A. Major Activities
- Wild Population Management – this focuses on the protection and identification of the population distribution and number of Philippine Eagles throughout its range.
- Captive Population Management – the Center for Philippine Raptors (CPR) was established in 1993 at the Makiling Botanical Garden (MBG), University of the Philippines Los Banos, College Laguna for this purpose. The Center serves as a rehabilitation center for confiscated and donated raptors, a venue for research and public education, and a captive breeding facility.
- Information, Education and Communication Campaign – a measure to promote a nationwide public awareness, and to provide opportunity for establishing community partnerships for the conservation of the Philippine Eagle, other raptors and their habitats.
B. Major Accomplishments
Wild Population Management
- Created and mobilized the Regional Eagle Watch Teams in ten (10) DENR- Regional Offices, such as 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, CARAGA, and CAR. The Team’s functions include, among others, i.e., protection/law enforcement and monitoring of the wild population of the Philippine Eagle throughout its known range; and, ii) location of other Philippine Eagle habitats and nesting sites.
- Part of the protection/law enforcement activities of the PRCP-REWTs is the retrieval/confiscation of Philippine Eagle and other raptorial birds which are illegally possessed by private individuals. A total of twenty-two (22) Philippine Eagles were retrieved by the REWTs with assistance of concerned NGOs i.e., PEF and CI Philippines and concerned LGUs from 1997-2008, of which, 5 were released back in the wild while some are being maintained at the PEC as breeding stocks. Two cases were also filed against illegal possessors/killers of Philippine Eagle. Based on REWTs’ monitoring activities, an average of 40 individuals of Philippine Eagle in the wild was recorded per year. From the period 1993 to December 31, 2008, 194 individuals of Philippine Eagle in 96 areas in Luzon (Cordillera and Sierra Madre Mountain ranges), Visayas (Samar and Leyte) and Mindanao have been recorded by the REWTs.
- In collaboration with Haribon Foundation, implemented the project entitled “Biodiversity and Resource Assessment with Focus on the Philippine Eagle and other raptors”. This project resulted to a Philippine Eagle population estimate between 202 and 1,616 pairs in 1998 from the estimated lowland forest cover of 20,201.63 km2. This estimate has the assumption that a pair has a minimum territory of 12.5 km2 and a maximum range of 100 km2 and that a pair uses 100% of the habitat. If only 40% of the available habitat is used, the Philippine population estimate nationwide would only range between 80 and 646 pairs (unpublished report).
- Assisted in the passage of Presidential Proclamation No. 155 on July 31, 1999 declaring 3728.98 hectares in Taft, Eastern Samar as Taft Forest Wildlife (Philippine Eagle) Sanctuary pursuant to Republic Act 7586.
Captive Population Management
- Established the Center for Philippine Raptors (CPR) at the Makiling Botanical Garden, College, Laguna. The Center serves as a rescue and rehabilitation facility for donated, abandoned and confiscated raptors. It is also a venue for research of students and researchers studying Philippine raptors. As of February 16, 2009, the CPR houses 61 individuals belonging to 14 species of Philippine raptors. This includes 1 individual of a Philippine Eagle;
- Developed 5 natural breeding pairs of Philippine Scops Owl (with thirty-four captive-bred owlets produced to date); and, 1 pair each of Brahminy Kite and White Breasted Sea-Eagle at the CPR;
- In collaboration with the academe e.g., University of the Philippines Los Baños, conducted basic researches on Philippine Eagle and other raptors at the CPR;
- Pursuant to the Wildlife Release Program of PAWB, released in the wild the following rehabilitated birds:
- 19 head of Brahminy Kite in Corregidor Island, Bataan
- 6 head of Brahminy Kite in Mts. Palay-Palay/Mataas na Gulod National Park, Ternate, Cavite
- 16 head of Serpent Eagle in Mt. Makiling, Laguna
- 6 head of White-Breasted Sea-Eagles in Corregidor Island, Bataan
- 7 head of Common Grass Owls in Mt. Makiling, Laguna
- 8 head of Philippine Scops Owl (two of which are captive-bred) in Mt. Banahaw, Quezon.
Information, Education and Communication Campaign
- Conducted, in collaboration with the Philippine Eagle Foundation among other partner NGOS various trainings for the project staff and Regional counterparts to enhance their capabilities in the implementation of the various aspects of the Project. These are, among others, Capability Building on Wildlife Identification; Conservation and Management: A Focus on Philippine Flora and Fauna; Trainings on Taxidermy; Raptor Identification and Raptor Handling; Training on Raptor Medicine; Zookeepers’ Training; Training-workshop on Raptor Research and Management Techniques for Mt. Irid-Angilo Collaborators, and, Training on Captive Breeding of Philippine Eagle.
- Prepared and distributed more than 70,000 IEC materials (brochures, pamphlets, fans, posters, flash cards, stickers, T-shirts bookmarks, billboards, button pins and caps).
- Conducted guided tour at the CPR, film showing, photo-exhibits, biodiversity lectures/seminars, biodiversity encampment, eagle site tour, tv/radio plugs, press releases, among other IEC activities.
- Created the Philippine Eagle Working Group (PEWG) composed of PAWB as Chair and representatives from the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), UPLB-College of Forestry and Natural Resources (UPLB-CFNR), UPLB-Institute of Forest Conservation (UPLB-IFC), UPLB-Institute of Biological Sciences (UPLB-IBS), Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystem (MCME), UPLB-College of Veterinary Medicine (UPLB-CVM), Makiling Botanic Gardens Superintendent (MBG), UP Diliman, Philippine National Museum (PNM), Birds International Incorporated (BII), DENR-Forest Management Bureau (DENR-FMB), DENR-Ecosystems Research Development Bureau DENR-ERDB), Haribon Foundation, Conservation International Philippines (CIP), World Wildlife Fund-Philippines (WWF), as members. The tasks of the PEWG are to provide technical assistance and sustain impetus in the implementation of the PRCP and PECP, and to formulate an Integrated Plan (IP) for the Conservation of the Philippine Eagle. The PEWG had developed the IP which was published in 1996. This Integrated Plan was revisited and revised/updated in 2008 for publication this CY 2009.
- Initiated the development of a policy that will provide emphasis on, and strengthen the conservation of the Philippine Eagle. To this effect, Proclamation No. 79 declaring June 4-10 of every year as “Philippine Eagle Week” was issued by then President Joseph E. Estrada on 24 February 1999. The celebration of Philippine Eagle Week was started in 1999. Among the activities being undertaken during the annual celebration are biodiversity encampment/seminars, exhibit, film showing and various contests.
- Establishment of partnership with Philippine Eagle Foundation, Conservation International-Philippines, Haribon Foundation, University of the Philippines Los Baños, concerned LGUs, among others in the implementation of various activities towards the conservation of the Philippine Eagle.
A Philippine Eagle, named “Kagsabua” was shot in 2006 in Mt. Kitanglad Natural Park and was released back into the wild in March 6, 2008 after its rehabilitation at the Philippine Eagle Center, Davao City. In spite of the active support of the concerned LGUs and IEC conducted prior to the bird’s release, the bird was shot and died on July 10, 2008. Based on the statement of the perpetrator that he was not aware that said bird is a Philippine Eagle, it appears that IEC activities undertaken was not enough and that monitoring/law enforcement activities was likewise insufficient. It is recommended that more funds be allocated on information dissemination and law enforcement/monitoring activities.
Insufficient funds and limited manpower are the PRCP’s limitations to fully carry out the activities of the Program.